IAN CHILLCOTT: How to fish silty lakes

IAN CHILLCOTT: How to fish silty lakes

Ian Chillcott reveals his tips for fishing silty venues in his answer to this question from one of our readers.

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I’ve joined an old estate lake that has a layer of silt across its entirety. Do you have any tips for how to target its carp as I’ve never fished anywhere like it before?
Iain Lloyd, Chepstow

"That’s a subject close to my heart, having enjoyed fishing many similar venues.

"Silt is one of the best areas to look for when fishing for carp and, on many gravel pits for example, it would often be my first port of call.

"If the lake you are going to be fishing is covered in the stuff then it’s all about finding the fresher silt rather than the really old, stinky stuff.

"Anyway, bait wise this is an easy one for me to answer as, like I said, I’ve fished a lot of silty lakes and done rather well from them if I might be so bold!

"Quite simply, I would use my tried-and-trusted PVA bags of boilies, a method that I have enjoyed considerable success on but, more importantly, have the utmost confidence in.

"I use a Mainline Hybrid wafter hookbait, often tipped with a piece of buoyant imitation corn, and then attach the mesh bags of the same Hybrid boilies to it.

"I like to use both 15mm and 10mm boilies in the bag, around eight to 10 in total. Once cast out the lead descends first and the bag of baits acts almost like a parachute, slowing the descent of the baits through that last 12ins or so.

Chilly's silt rig

Chilly's silt rig

"The boilies, hookbait and rig touch down on the lake bed nice and gently and so don’t go crashing down into the silt.

"If it’s really soft silt, almost like a thick gravy, then the baits will obviously sink into it. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as the carp do not feed on top of this stuff, but instead they feed right in among it, exactly where you want your baits to be."